Top tips to re-open your business safely

Published Date: 

31 Mar 2021 - 15:03

We welcome the re-opening of some non-essential retail services and hairdressers/barbers on 5 April. To help businesses do this safely, our Environmental Health team has five top tips to share.

Top Tip 1- Employees and Risk Assessment

Talk with your staff and review your risk assessments together:

  • Ensure everyone is clear on their role and the procedures
  • Set up steps to make sure your controls are followed every day. Record what you have done to monitor that.
  • Do you need work cohorts (bubbles)?
  • Make sure everyone can get to work and return home safely.

Top Tip 2 – Utility Services

Utility services (e.g. gas, electricity or water supplies) must be safe before re-opening. Water stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing risk of Legionnaires Disease.  Review your risk assessment and manage Legionella risks before you re-start using:

  • the water system.
  • air conditioning units.

Top Tip 3 – Ventilation

There must be an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of your workplace. Identify poorly ventilated areas and get more air circulating by:

  • Natural ventilation – open windows, doors (excluding fire doors), and air vents.
  • Mechanical ventilation – use fans and ducts to bring in air from outside.
  • A combination of both.

Top Tip 4 – Hand hygiene and Cleaning

Provide enough alcohol-based hand gel stations throughout the business so that employees can clean their hands throughout the day, and customers can clean their hands.

Design a cleaning schedule and train staff in putting it into practice. Include:

  • Work areas, staff rooms and canteens.
  • Toilets.
  • Equipment.
  • Frequent touch points (door handles, trollies, baskets, handheld devices etc).

Ensure these areas are cleaned and disinfected during the workday.

Top Tip 5 – Prepare for Physical Distancing

You are required to keep a 2-metre physical distance between all persons to minimise COVID-19 transmission. Remember to identify pinch points and busy areas.

Consider how you will:

  • Limit customer numbers into shop at one time.
  • Manage queues inside and outdoors e.g. 2m interval floor marking.
  • Mark 2m intervals on the floor inside.
  • Introduce safe routes i.e. One-way systems.
  • Remind customers of physical distancing i.e. tannoy announcements or taped messages.
  • Highlight pinch points and busy areas with signs to remind about physical distancing.
  • Put up a screen at service counters.
  • Stagger start times, finish times and breaks.

For more information on re-opening specific sectors, please visit the Scottish Government website for guidance.

The council website also has general information on opening businesses safely.